All of the tours have been interesting and beneficial for all of us, but the last two days it has been exceptionally educational for us. Yesterday, starting off with the Summit Dialogue, I have learnt to actually think deeper and more critically about the health care around the world. Until now, since Korea’s health care system is very efficient and has not much of a burden on the people, I have never given much though to how the government weighs the various categories of health care. The graph showing the balance of accessibility, affordability, sustainability, and accountability (??) pulled my interest. I tried locating Korea on the graph and found that although it is doing well in all areas, it still lacks some characteristics to optimize in all four areas. it is now a well known fact that a lot of the medical students become plastic surgeons because they can earn a lot of money. However, this severely limits Korea’s progress on it accountability (the medical skills). Perhaps if the government gave more benefits to non-plastic surgeons, it might help, but it might not be sustainable.
Like the Summit Dialogue the visit to the GIC was very new. I am not big on finance so in the beginning of the session I was not properly concentrating. However, the more I listened to others questions and the detailed answers I enjoyed it a lot. I was actually planning to do consulting mainly for social issues (i.e. Social policies), and I realized that the profiling of the various countries and companies is not much different from consulting. It actually broadened my scope on what I am interested in, providing me more alternatives which I might prefer over the original plan I had in my mind.
For today, as mentioned earlier, the visit to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) left me a lot to think about. First, the LTA. I did not expect much for the visit but the from the beginning of the presentation it made me think. They mentioned Seoul to be a mega-city with an organised bus system, and that fact is quite true. However, I kept on wondering, what about the complex subway system? As a person who does not live in Seoul, I find it to be very confusing and annoying. There are so many transfer stations that most newcomers are prone to become to lost. Even in Busan, the second largest city in Korea has only 4 lines with 8 transfer stations and some find the large stations difficult. In Seoul there are currently 19 lines with so many transfer stations but there are constructions going on the expand it further. I believe that this is happening because nearly half of the population is living in Seoul along with the government establishments. There have been efforts in Korea to move some of the establishments to Sejong city but to me it seems that it will take some time.
The visit to the PUB was similar to some visits I made to a sewage treatment plant so it was somewhat friendly yet still interesting. i had no idea that Singapore had 4 sources to get water. Korea mainly uses its rivers and reservoirs for its water supply but it was fresh to learn that seawater was desalinized, waste water was changed into NEWater, reservoirs, and bought from Malaysia.
It feels like I am obtaining a lot of knowledge along with the ability to think deeper and apply the thought to everyday examples.
Hyo Jae Shin